2009 Star of the Sea, Graeme Byrnes with SFM managing director, Grahame Turk


Sydney Fish Market (SFM) is excited to announce that nominations are now open for the 7th Seafood Excellence Awards, to be held at Sydney Town Hall on Saturday, 30 July 2011.

The awards will bring together a who's who of the seafood industry and will provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate inspiring industry achievements across fourteen categories from Best Supplier and Best Seafood Retailer, to Best Seafood Restaurant, crowd favourite Best Fish & Chips, and the coveted Star of The Sea award.

SFM buyers and suppliers are encouraged to nominate now. A full list of award categories and the relevant nomination processes can be found at www.seafoodexcellenceawards.com.au.

Self nominations are now open for awards such as Excellence in Environmental Practice, Inspired by Seafood, Best Seafood Retailer and Best Seafood Restaurant. For businesses interested in the Best Fish and Chips award, posters for in-store display are now available at the SFM credit office. The posters outline the details of the Best Fish and Chips award as well as providing an SMS number which customers can use to vote for their favourite fish and chips retailer.

The 2011 Seafood Excellence Awards are shaping up as the premier date on the seafood industry's calendar. Attendees will enjoy a prestigious night of fabulous entertainment where they can rub shoulders with some of Sydney's top chefs and dine on an exquisite three course menu designed by award winning chef, Sean Connolly. Tickets are $150 plus GST and are on sale now.

As Grahame Turk, managing director of SFM explains, 'The seafood industry has an incredible work ethic of dedication to bring the best seafood in the world to the tables of people who love it. This event is a celebration of their efforts and achievements and of the quality, variety and sustainability of their ongoing product.'

'Sydney Fish Market has a long and proud history as a leader in the seafood industry and we're thrilled to host this event showcasing the industry's best,' he said.

The gala event will welcome over 500 of the industry's top players and traditionally secures extensive national and international media coverage. The awards have previously been showcased on 60 Minutes, Sydney Weekender, Sunday Business, The Great Outdoors, Good Morning Australia, Television New Zealand News, Rick Stein's Taste of The Sea and Sydney Morning Herald's 'Good Living' supplement.

The 2009 Seafood Excellence Awards, held in the Grand Ballroom of Star City Hotel & Casino was considered a great success. Highlights included renowned entertainer Deni Hines and celebrity emcees Vince Colosimo and Rodger Corser.

If you would like to find out about sponsorship opportunities, download a nomination form or purchase tickets to the awards, visit www.seafoodexcellenceawards.com.au, or phone
(+61) 2 9004 1139.

The industry's most underutilised resource – its sustainability credentials


Sydney Fish Market (SFM) and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) will host a Seafood Services Australia (SSA) network meeting on the topic of 'positive interaction on environmental issues' on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 at SFM.

The talks will address the issues of sustainability in the Australian seafood industry, rebuilding public support for commercial fishing in New South Wales and fisheries management. In addition, the network meeting will look at the challenges the United Kingdom (UK) faced in building public consensus on sustainability in their fishing industry.

'These talks are a must for anybody who cares about the Australian seafood industry's future and commercial fishing's longevity,' said SFM's administration manager, Bryan Skepper. 'They will also aim to unite the industry's currently fragmented approach to sustainability and establish ways in which we can change public perception of the commercial fishing industry.'

The keynote speaker for the event is Mr. Philip MacMullen, head of environmental responsibility at the Seafish industry authority in the UK. Mr. MacMullen is well positioned to talk to the Australian seafood industry, based on his twenty-five years of experience in issues related to sustainability, integrated development and encouraging dialogue between disparate stakeholders that have an interest in the marine environment.

Mr. MacMullen is also well credentialed in promoting sustainability efforts to the general public through his work with the UK's Responsible Fishing Scheme. At its core, the Responsible Fishing Scheme allows the UK fishing industry to demonstrate their best practice guidelines and commitment to sustainability to the general public and in this way, positively position themselves in the global marketplace.

An important part of the Responsible Fishing Scheme, and an element which the Australian industry may look to replicate, is the Common Language Group which develops consensus between key stakeholders in the seafood industry on a range of important issues. The provision of a united front across the seafood industry can allow for clearer communication of the industry's stance to consumers.

'Whilst we all know how dedicated we are to sustainability, our major problem has been communicating this to the public,' said Bryan. 'By learning from the challenges faced in the UK, we hope to solidify our voice in the marketplace and improve public cosciousness, which in turn may help influence the government policy that affects our industry.'

The SSA network meeting will also draw on expertise from within Australia from those who champion sustainability in Australia's fishing industry, including: Duncan Leadbitter, director, Fish Matter; Dr. James Findlay, CEO, Australian Fisheries Management Authority; Grahame Turk, managing director, SFM; and Professors Bob Kearney and Colin Buxton.

The SSA meeting and the opportunity to utilise Mr. MacMullen's expertise will provide an important industry forum and is a must for anyone in the industry serious about preserving commercial fishing and changing public opinion about sustainability of the seafood industry in Australia.

To secure your place at the meeting click here

Event Details:

Seafood Services Australia Network Meeting: Positive Interaction on Environmental Issues
Wednesday, 18 May 2011. 8:45am - 5:00pm
Exhibition Room, Level 1, Sydney Fish Market, Bank St, Pyrmont
RSVP essential.

Participants in the 2011 National Seafood Industry Leadership Program


With the first of three residential sessions now complete, The National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) has kicked off its eleventh year with a fresh group of leaders coming together to build their skills and develop a plan for achieving a significant industry vision.

Sponsored by Sydney Fish Market (SFM), the course is designed to provide leadership in action and equip participants with the skills, knowledge and contacts to operate effectively at any industry level.

The first of three residential sessions took place in Hobart from Tuesday, 15 March to Thursday, 17 March 2011. In addition to the classroom based learning programs, participants were given the opportunity to experience first-hand the workings of a local market leader by touring the nearby Tassal production facility. During the tour participants were given the opportunity to speak with senior staff and gain insights into both the current operations of the company as well as ongoing development initiatives.

In order to develop networking skills and gain a wider knowledge of the industry as a whole, participants were also charged with the responsibility of hosting an industry dinner. Guests at the dinner included senior community and industry stakeholders, government department representatives and three Tasmanian senators. NSILP participants took an active role by introducing, accompanying, and networking with the VIP guests, as well as delivering a range of speeches including the presentation of the group's vision and mission.

As Rural Training Initiatives program manager and facilitator, Jill Briggs explains, 'The program provides skill development sessions for the participants by primarily encouraging them to implement leadership change at the various levels of the industry. We are clear that we have people who aspire to lead their industry into a sustainable and productive future - from small business through to federal decision making. This makes for a dynamic and complex process for the participants - this is not easy, but leadership isn't easy'.

Over the course of six months, participants will complete a major team project to achieve and develop their mission, which this year is, 'To showcase fishing and industry champions - tell their story'.

Each individual is tasked with the responsibility of contributing to the team mission. Moving forward, participants will reconvene in Sydney in June to further develop their strategies and continue the education process. Finally, a third residential session and graduation dinner will be held in Canberra in September where this year's participants will present the results of their project efforts.

Armed with the skills and contacts gained throughout the program, graduates of previous years have gone on to make important contributions to the industry. As Chris Calogeras, a former graduate and present program coordinator points out, 'The industry needs to ensure that it has enough people to share the load to protect its long-term future'.

For more information on the course visit: www.ruraltraininginitiatives.com.au



To coincide with the Marine Stewardship Council's declared Sustainable Seafood Day on Friday, 18 March 2011, the two major Australian supermarket chains unveiled new sustainable fish sourcing strategies. The move by the two major retailers has acted as a catalyst for change within industry.

For some time, industry has been alert to the issue of misinformation in the marketplace surrounding the issue of sustainability, yet has done little collectively to defend industry's credentials. This recent announcement has seen a great deal of internal debate and will hopefully see significant industry players join forces with SFM and find the resources to champion industry's credentials.

As readers would be aware, SFM has produced a brochure titled Sustainable Seafood in an attempt to alleviate consumer confusion. The brochure contains facts from current research indicating the true state of affairs in the seafood industry.

The brochure is available to view online at the SFM website or to obtain copies please contact Nigel Cocks on 02 9004 1147 or email nigelc@sydneyfishmarket.com.au. In order to cover the cost of printing, distribution and ongoing research, the brochures are priced at $250 per 1,500 copies.

In addition to brochure distribution, SFM actively champions the Australian seafood industry's environmental credentials through its Facebook and Twitter sites and through information available on its website which receives over 30,000 unique visitors each month.

By working together and promoting the industry's steadfast sustainability practices, we hope to achieve positive outcomes for the entire seafood industry.

Dr. James Findlay takes the reins at AFMA


The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), which is responsible for the effective and sustainable use of Australia's fish resources, has recently announced the appointment of Dr. James Findlay to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Announced on Wednesday, 30 March 2011, Dr. Findlay has stepped into the role following the departure of Prof. Glenn Hurry. Dr. Findlay has been the acting CEO of AFMA since September, 2010 and brings to the position considerable experience in the agriculture, fisheries and rural sectors. To compliment this experience, Dr. Findlay also holds a PhD in Aquaculture from the University of Tasmania.

As the agency responsible for licensing, quota management, fisheries compliance, environmental risk assessment and marine planning, Dr Findlay's position at AFMA will see him take a lead role in the fisheries management process.

Speaking in reference to Dr. Findlay's appointment, a joint statement released by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon. Joe Ludwig; and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly AM MP said that, 'under Dr Findlay's leadership, AFMA, with its strong executive team and dedicated staff, will continue to deliver on behalf of the Australian community to protect and develop our fisheries'.

Sydney Fish Market looks forward to working with Dr. Findlay to advance the fishing industry and tackle the challenges that lie ahead.


Spreading the word. SFM seafood tenants receive media training


By reviewing the media enquiries Sydney Fish Market (SFM) deals with in any given week, the importance of being well presented and conveying a clear message to the media becomes immediately evident. Accordingly, SFM has taken the initiative of providing media training for its seafood retail tenants.

With the help of public relations firm Cox Inall Communications, participants are given training in how to effectively front the media. Although the majority of coverage SFM receives in the media is positive, it is nevertheless critically important to be prepared for the more pointed and deeper questions that may be posed to SFM and its stakeholders.

Carmello Lombardo from De Costi Seafoods has had extensive experience speaking on behalf of his business and SFM. Despite this experience, Carmello believes there's always room for improvement.

'I've been a part of countless interviews for SFM and appeared on camera for live crosses, vox-pop interviews and pre-recorded segments. That said, the way I answer, and in some cases, don't answer a question in an interview is really important, and something I'd like to always improve upon. We want to get the right message out there and be able to speak confidently, no matter what the topic'.

Public relations initiatives form an integral part of SFM's overall promotional strategy and the associated value of the exposure garnered through these initiatives is worth considerably more than even the most extensive advertising campaign. But what happens in times where the message is not so positive?

Be it an issue of sustainability, the potential threat of a food handling mishap or perhaps an injury onsite - even with the most stringent safeguards in place, the potential for negative publicity can be very real. In fact, dealing with such issues is just as important (if not more so) than fostering positive coverage or gaining advertorial exposure.

As Louise Shaw, marketing and communications manager at SFM points out, 'Using the media to our advantage can be an incredibly powerful tool. A great interview can bring attention to issues that SFM would like to highlight, act as a promotion tool to drive more people through the doors, or in certain cases where the topic is potentially damaging to SFM, a good interview can disarm a negative topic'.

Over the coming months, SFM has committed to an ongoing training schedule to further build the skills base in media relations. It is hoped that each seafood tenant will have at least one trained spokesperson to confidently conduct media interviews on behalf of their business.

For retailers, the training could not come at a better time as the coming weeks will see media interest in SFM's Easter trade period peak. Second only to the Christmas period, Easter sees countless media and news crews visit SFM to highlight the festive feel and the incredible range of seafood on offer to customers.

Promoting seafood. Brigid Treloar will be back to promote Aussie seafood at this year's Easter Show


From Thursday, 14 April it's all systems go as Sydney Fish Market (SFM) hops over to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for eighteen days of Get Fresh with Fish cooking demonstration fun.

At 1pm each day at the Women's Weekly 'Taste of the Show' Theatre Kitchen, the lovely and talented SFM seafood demonstrator Brigid Treloar will show consumers just how easy it is to create a fabulous seafood dish, even in the cooler months.

Brigid will be joined by some of our local fishers who will teach audience members about lesser known Australian seafood species. Fourth generation commercial fishers Paul Bagnato and Richie Bagnato, plus OceanWatch Australia executive chair and ex-fisherman Brad Warren will also be on hand to answer questions and impart some of their knowledge and stories.

In each twenty-five minute session, Brigid will demonstrate two recipes that will show consumers how to prepare and cook underutilised species while promoting the benefits of cooking with seafood. 'The key', said Louise Shaw, marketing and communications manager, 'is to let people know it's easy and affordable to cook healthy seafood'.

Meanwhile back at SFM, Easter shoppers can take advantage of extended Easter trading from 5am until 5pm on Good Friday, 22 April. With SFM open every day of the long weekend, 55,000 customers are expected to visit as they hunt for seafood guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds just as much as any chocolate egg.

Gus Dannoun, SFM's supply manager, notes that this year's supply of seafood will be as abundant as ever, with over 700 tonnes of fresh seafood expected to be traded at SFM.

'Seafood sales are traditionally boosted over the Easter period because of the Christian tradition of Lent. However more people, religious or not, are now enjoying seafood on Good Friday,' explained Gus. 'Easter is a good time of year to remind people just how good seafood is, not only for the taste, but for the significant health benefits. People should enjoy fish every Friday!'

In order to keep up with the increased demand of the Easter period special supply and trading arrangements have been put into place. The last auction before Easter will take place on Thursday, 21 April at 4:30am. Due to the early start, SFM must receive product before 3am on that day.

No auction will be held on Good Friday, 22 April; Monday, 25 April; or Tuesday, 26 April. The auction floor will re-open for deliveries from 1pm on Tuesday, 26 April ahead of the auction on Wednesday, 27 April.

Public transport options like the Metro Lightrail and bus services will again be promoted to the general public as the preferred way to get to SFM during this busy period. However, SFM buyers and suppliers are reminded that there may be potential traffic congestion during the Easter period.   


Proceeds from SFM's flood appeal now helping where it's needed the most


The recent spate of natural disasters took an immense toll on the Queensland and Northern New South Wales fishing industry. The silt, debris and fresh water pushed into commercial fishing areas, not to mention fishing and aquaculture equipment damage has had an extensive effect on the fishers and farmers.

In recognition of the hardship many fishers and aquaculturalists faced, Sydney Fish Market (SFM) set up the Supplier Relief Fund to assist suppliers in getting back on their feet during these testing times.

On Tuesday, 18 January 2011, SFM halted the morning's wholesale auction and put on breakfast to encourage buyers and staff to dig deep for those suppliers in dire straits. With SFM matching contributions 2:1, the fund managed to raise over $20,000.

'We received an overwhelming number of applications for help and when assessing each case we were greatly saddened by the devastation being felt by our valued suppliers as a result of the floods and cyclone Yasi,' said Louise Shaw, SFM's marketing and communications manager.

'Applications were assessed on the basis of need and although we were thankful we could help a good proportion of applicants, the overwhelming response rate made the task extremely difficult,' Ms Shaw said.

One of the major impacts of the natural disasters was the effect on transport.

'Supply was certainly effected during January,' said SFM's supply manager, Gus Dannoun. 'However what we're seeing now is a good turn around in product coming from the flood affected areas.'

Damage caused by tropical cyclone Yasi also caused extensive damage to many of SFM's farmed Prawn and Barramundi suppliers.

'Damage to pumps, feed and ponds saw many farmers lose huge amounts of stock. With 17% of SFM's auction produce being aquaculture product, we felt the strain on supply,' said Gus.

Lowri Pryce, executive officer of OceanWatch Australia, says that the large scale environmental devastation caused by the disasters may see local fishers unable to harvest for extended periods. The large amount of land based and household debris caused by runoff illustrates a real threat to the physical safety of fishers and the marine environment.

SFM would like to extend its sincere thanks to all those who donated to the appeal. Numerous recipients of the fund's proceeds have been in contact with SFM over recent weeks to express their gratitude and convey their overwhelming thanks. It is pleasing to report that the funds have helped so many and provided a tangible lifeline during a period of such turmoil.




Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd, Locked Bag 247, Bank Street PYRMONT NSW 2009

T: 61 2 9004 1100 | F: 61 2 9004 1177 | E: publicrelations@sydneyfishmarket.com.au